By Lorna Sixsmith, Social Media Consultant at Write On Track
Pinterest has become an essential part of many business’s social media strategies, particularly for those with visual products. However, thought needs to be given to maximising your success with Pinterest whether you offer visual products or non-visual products or services.
Before you start, it is a good idea to establish your goals. They are most likely to be to drive more traffic to your website, to include calls to action to deliver on conversions and to increase the numbers on your mailing list. Your target client needs to be established too so you pin material that will be of interest to people in that group. 60% of the 12 million Pinterest users are female, with 31.5% in the age group 35-44. However, the number of men using pinterest has increased in the last year with more older people turning to Pinterest now too.
How to Maximise Your Pinterest Success
1. Think Visual – even if you don’t have a visual product, work out how you can add pictures of value to your Pinterest boards. Your product or service may not be visually attractive or exciting so show pictures of the results. If your accounting service gives business owners peace of mind, show images of people relaxing as it nears the financial year end. If your product cleans floors effortlessly, have a board devoted to stunning floors – the implication being that your floor could look like this if you own this floor cleaner.
2. People Buy From People – Pinterest is a place to show the people behind the business, therefore a board could be devoted to staff members. You can choose to have headshots with a bio or include photos of the staff doing what they do best – meeting clients, working in the office, presenting at a conference, being involved with a charity or community effort, exhibiting at a show. Use the board to show not just employees, show what your business is about too.
3. Instructographics – Do you write blog posts explaining concepts? You will be including an image in the blog post in any case to break up the text and provide visual interest. Create an instructographic instead which can be as simple as a beautiful photograph with a clear background – all you have to do is add the text e.g. How To Maximise Your Pinterest Success or Ten Tips For Easy Accounting. (Note that some of the stock image providers do not permit them to be pinned)
4. Infographics – Create interesting, easy to read, infographics that provide useful information for your target audience with a clear call to action. The Sage 50 infographic incorporates a very visible call to action with its phone number.
5. Naming Your Boards – Name your boards with highly searched keywords. You can also name them with the target market in mind, for example, ‘Tips for Mumpreneurs’.
6. Buttons – Add the ‘pin it’ button to your blog posts to serve as a reminder to your readers to share the post with their Pinterest followers. Many Pinterest users like to have permission to pin your content so having the ‘pin it’ button there gives them approval too. Add the ‘follow us on Pinterest’ button to your sidebar or your website to encourage followers.
7. Your Content – Pin the pictures of your ebooks/ books/whitepapers from your website where they can be downloaded and/or purchased. Ensure that the front cover has an appealing and attractive design to maximise repinning success.
8. Pin Different Media – Videos can be pinned too, therefore pin any YouTube videos or webinars your company has created.
9. Repin – Don’t make it all about you. Remember to share and repin pins that you believe would be of interest to your followers.
10. Contributor Boards – Creating shared boards (and contributing to others) is a great way to increase the chances of your pins going viral. Create a shared board for your customers to contribute too by showing the results of buying your product or service. If you are organising a conference, ask speakers to contribute to the board with photos or slides. The advantage is that the shared boards might be followed by each contributor’s followers (if they are following ‘all boards’) so the reach is much more significant.
11. Location – If your company has offices in various locations or some staff travel to various locations, include photos to show your global presence.
12. Timeliness – Post pins in good time before an event or a season. If your service or product is concerned with Easter, then start pinning in February to give those pins eight weeks to circulate. Remember to ensure that the ‘seasonal’ boards are at the top of your page at the optimum time and removed to the bottom of the page directly afterwards.
13. Lifestyle – Show pictures of the lifestyle your company promotes, particularly if the product or service can help users attain that lifestyle.
14. Pin Little & Often – Don’t flood your followers’ page with your pins. Pin little and often throughout the week – this is all the more important if it is set to tweet the pins too. The Pingraphy tool will permit scheduling and can be a useful timesaver.
Pinterest is one of the fastest ever growing social media platforms with some businesses reporting greater success with pinterest than Facebook. It can be utilised for all types of businesses – the secret is planning your strategy rather than becoming carried away with pinning.